Chris Cornell’s daughter, Toni, is celebrating her 16th birthday today. To mark the occasion, the rock legend’s estate has revealed a very special gift: a previously unreleased version of “Only These Words”.
“Only These Words” officially appeared as part of Cornell’s 2015 solo album Higher Truth. A sweet, lullaby-like ode to his daughters, it saw the Soundgarden frontman repeatedly croon the words, “I love you.”
According to an Instagram post from his family, today’s unearthed version is the true “original” one, even more tender and sparse than what was later included on Higher Truth. “Your dad would be so proud of the smart, strong, beautiful, and confident woman you are growing up to be,” reads the Instagram caption dedicated to Toni.
“You are so very loved, and you give so much love, freely and unconditionally. Your first sentence was ‘I love you’ to your baby brother when you first met him. As your dad so perfectly sang and what it’s always all about – ‘Only these three words repeating…I love you…'”
Stream the original take below, followed by the official album version.
Over the summer, Toni gave her father another reason to be proud: she covered Pearl Jam’s “Black” during the Lollapalooza virtual stream. Cornell’s other daughter Lily, meanwhile, has been hosting a video series focused on mental health; PJ singer Eddie Vedder was one of her more recent guests.